By: Sarah Pontbriand (@pontbriandsarah )
While searching for internships and jobs, it’s important to keep in mind that a company is not just a logo and a service, but what’s inside as well. Andrea Clark, Associate Director of Corporate Affairs at Kellogg Company, shared her experiences with corporate culture and internal communications with GV PRSSA.
From journalism, state politics, agency and corporate life, Clark learned to do everything by being thrown her way. Not only is it a relief to me to see that a person can grow and change their career path, but it’s also interesting to imagine the difference in cultures of each place Clark has worked.
One of my favorite lessons from Clark’s visit to PRSSA is to “be open-minded, but know yourself.” This means a lot when it comes to corporate culture and internal communications of any organization. It is important to try new things and that can help with knowing yourself. People are different and not everybody will flourish in the same company culture, but when you find the right one, you will flourish. Clark also made a point that you need to be really flexible in order to work in different settings. “It’s good to give something a go,” in Clark’s words, and take each experience as a lesson.
Clark outlined that three things shape corporate culture: company vision, values and actions/practices. A company must have both a strong strategy and culture to make it work. If an organization displays a fun and edgy culture, the way they practice should match it. The same concept goes for all different organizational cultures.
Like corporate culture, tactics that are implemented should support an organization’s overall business strategies. Clark stressed the importance of this because, “if employees don’t get where you’re going and why you’re going there, they aren’t going to be engaged.” When the people of an organization are working toward the same mission and values, everyone has the motivation to be productive and follow through.
- Know yourself
- Be flexible and have an open-minded
- Work hard
- Think about an overall strategy/approach, not just a tactic
- Follow-up with people
- Write well
Clarks’ parting words are what stuck with me the most: “Your life is short, it goes by so fast. You should really do something you like to do and be engaged.”
Sarah is a senior at GVSU majoring in Advertising & Public Relations and minoring in Hospitality & Tourism Management. She is excited to see where her degree will take her and hopes to work in the big city. Outside of her involvement in GV PRSSA and GrandPR, Sarah loves to watch movies and snowboard.